Fall in love with your business again despite the downturn

OLIVIA COLLINS of top PR company Those Two Girls gives some Valentine’s tips on how business owners can help customers fall in love with their business through PR and advertising.

With February being the month for love, it’s time to 'fall in love' with your business. Fall back in love and make amends. Say you're sorry when you've expected too much; acknowledge when you've been a little insensitive and promise to get realistic about expectations.

Think about what you love about your company. Remember the first buzz and novelty of when you first started, the dreams you had together. And when you're buzzing with love and the possibilities of what still can be, put pen to paper and find new and interesting ways to make your customers fall in love. Then take the time to imagine being your customer and what you would love to receive as your customer. Walk through each step from enquiry to purchase and payment.

This exercise may produce simple but ingenious ideas and it is ideas and new techniques that will get us through this downturn. Use methods that you maybe haven't considered before. It's a bit like the comparison to fishing in a quiet calm lake that few people know exists. You used to catch fish simply by clapping your hands and pointing the fish towards the net. But there comes a point where more people are fishing, there are fewer fish, and so you have to actually start using more skills, lures, tastier bait, and superior knowledge of where fish like to hang out.

Those Two Girls PR has put together some simple and low cost PR ideas that will help get you on your way.

Top tips for powerful and low cost PR

Bill Gates famously said, "If I was down to my last dollar, I'd spend it on PR". Those Two Girls PR can show you how to spend that last dollar wisely. OK, so maybe it'll take more than one dollar (€0.77 ), but you get the picture. Businesses need to start getting creative with their marketing and PR and think outside the box. Savvy business people will use all their resources and skills to build awareness of their products and services by using low cost methods and utilising professionals to help them achieve this. Below are some tips that are super, cost effective and may be just what you need to increase website hits, foot fall, or phone enquiries.

Social media PR: Write a newsworthy press release and accompany it with background details on your company and contact details. Check out forums, blogs, and social media sites where your news piece may be of interest. Successful online PR will result in getting people talking about your product or service and building awareness in a very cost effective manner.

Networking: Get involved in your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce, business organisations, service clubs, and charities. Network yourself and keep your antennae up. Press Releases: Gain third-party credibility by sending the media news releases. Limit copy to one page, if possible. Use your PR agency when you have an important story to tell and when you want to maximise coverage.

Sponsorship: Consider a low cost or barter system for sponsorship. Once agreed, look at how this sponsorship can serve you by promoting your brand. This will give you name recognition and show community support

Hold a seminar or invite customers to an 'Open House': Hosting an event is an excellent forum for meeting your customers and inviting potential customers. This is a great way to gain face time with key customers and prospects as well as to get your company name circulating. With the right management, you'll be rewarded with a nice turnout and media coverage. If it's a seminar, limit the attendance and charge a fee if warranted. A fee gives the impression of value. Free may indicate that attendees will have to endure a sales pitch.

Start a blog: Establishing a company blog is low-cost way to position your business as a leader and an expert in your field. You can then direct the media to your blog and include the URL in your press releases and emails.

For more information on Those Two Girls PR and how they can help your business call 091 385 600 or log on to the company website www.ThoseTwoGirls.ie

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